Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Greatness of Joan Bennett

Part of the great thing about an obsession with film noir is that it is self-replenishing. Once you're seen every Lizabeth Scott movie you can get your hands on, you can switch to stalking Audrey Totter or Marie Windsor for a while. (Or, to be fair here, Robert Mitchum or Robert Ryan.)

All of that is to say that while I've been an admirer of Joan Bennett for years, I've only recently locked in on her as an object of fascination. It's rather exciting, I must say, to rediscover her at this point in my noir affliction. She is one of the truly great leading ladies of the genre--while she could be a deliciously evil femme fatale, she was also one of the most human. Her filmography is deep and impressive, and her life story was a tabloid tragedy writ large.

Check my new essay on Joan Bennett over at Criminal Element.

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